Book reading Meme: Zizek and 123?

My buddy Kyle has tagged me to write out a quote from page 123 of the nearest book on my shelf. Well unfortunately for all of us, my book is Slavoj Zizek’s “The Puppet and the Dwarf,” which means mostly that it’s going to be difficult to make sense of it outside it’s context. Zizek isn’t really the kind of write who you can proof-text easily but I’ve tried.

The rules of this meme are as follows:

  1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
  2. Find page 123
  3. Find the first 5 sentences
  4. Post the next 3 sentences
  5. Tag 5 people

(Of course, a question arises here: if sexuality is just a metaphor [in the Song of Songs for our relationship with God], why do we need this problematic detour in the first place? Why do we not convey the true spiritual content directly? Because, due to the limitations of our sensual finite nature, this content is not directly accessible to us?). What, however, if the Song of Songs is to be read not as an allegory but, much more literally, as the description of purely sensual erotic play? What if the “deeper” spiritual dimension is already operative in the passionate sexual interaction itself? The true task is thus not to reduce sexuality to a mere allegory [which then allows us to easily commodify it], but unearth the inherent “spiritual” dimension that forever separates human sexuality from animal coupling. Is it, however, possible to accomplish this step from allegory to full identity in Judaism? Is this not what Christianity is about, with its assertion of the direct identity of God and man?

(Zizek, The Puppet and the Dwarf, 123)

I’ll tag:

Published by Wess

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. He works at Guilford College, enjoys riding his Triumph Bonneville, and listening to music.

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5 Comments

  1. That’s an interesting quote…although I don’t know what it has to do with dwarfs or puppets! But it sounds like an interesting book. What’s the overall topic of the book?

  2. Hi Cherice, It is a really good book and very provocative as you can see from the quote. As to what it’s about…that’s a harder question. It’s basically Žižek’s thoughts on Christianity, psychoanalysis and culture. He’s not a Christian (as far as I know), but he defends Christianity in the wake of our current crises as a faith/theology of the Real. He sees Christianity, especially Pauline, as offering a universal, yet particular ethic that challenges both modernity and postmodernity. But beyond that? I am not really sure, I’m only in chapter 3 and it’s some of the most difficult reading I’ve done.

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